Fourth ferry ‘success’ must be factored in tunnel studies, Gozo workers say

Association of Gozitan Employees in Malta calls into question need for tunnel given the reduction in waiting times brought about by the introduction of a fourth ferry

The fourth Gozo Channel vessel arrived in Malta early June
The fourth Gozo Channel vessel arrived in Malta early June

The reduction in waiting times brought about by the addition of a fourth Gozo ferry has caused the Association of Gozitan Employees in Malta to question the need for the proposed tunnel linking the two islands.

In a statement on Wednesday, the AGEM called questioned the need for the tunnel while calling on the government to publish all studies related to the tunnel once they are completed in order to “ease scrutiny”.

The AGEM said it believed the studies should not only focus on the environmental impact and the financial viability of the project, “but should also take into consideration the impact of having the fourth ferry operating on a full-time basis”.

It said that in addition to reducing queues to a bare minimum, the ferry had alleviated the “terrible traffic jams at Cirkewwa, thus reducing actual travel times for commuters to and from Malta”.  

The association said the fourth ferry’s introduction was a “resounding success” which had positively impacted Gozitans working in Malta. “AGEM would also like to thank the extremely helpful and cordial crew of the Nikolaos.”

Furthermore, the association said it was “extremely satisfied with the current Gozo Channel Timetable and the frequency with which all the four ferries are working”.

“It is evident that in the drafting of the timetable, the needs and hardships faced by Gozitan employees working in Malta, were taken into consideration,” the association said.

AGEM also pointed out that the revised Gozo Resident Working Subsidy, which includes the Collective Transport Subsidy, had helped alleviate some of the “financial hardships faced by Gozitan employees working in Malta”.

Finally, the association said it was is strongly committed to continue working with all relevant authorities, especially the Ministry for Gozo, in order to continue to improve the working conditions of all Gozitan employees working in Malta.

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